LinkedIn upgraded its Skills section late last year to allow your first level connections to provide affirmation that you do indeed possess certain skills. Consider that to be good news because recruiters and hiring managers are more comfortable trusting your skills claims when they have credible corroborating evidence.Unfortunately, people have gone a little overboard in endorsing each other on LinkedIn, thus causing great skepticism about the validity of these endorsements. If you have a large network that includes people you don’t know at all, then you’re at particular risk for this problem.
Here’s what you can do to ensure that your endorsements enhance, rather than cheapen, your profile:
- Click “Profile/Edit Profile” on LinkedIn’s main drop down menu.
- Scroll down to “Skills and Expertise” and click on the little blue pencil on the right-hand side of the page.
- Select “Add and Remove.” LinkedIn lets you display ten items in an attractive vertical display. Beyond ten, it goes to a cluttered horizontal display. Shudder. Limit yourself to no more than ten skills. Pick the ones you want to be hired to do. Think “key words that recruiters would use to find me.” Delete the rest. Resist the urge to go beyond ten. It puts you at risk of looking like a Jack of All Trades and Master of None.
- Now click “Manage Endorsements.” Review who has endorsed you for each skill and uncheck people who don’t know enough about you to know whether or not you have that skill. Do it. You can always recheck them if it hurts too much a day or two from now. It won’t.